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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 October, 2003, 07:28 GMT 08:28 UK
Pichot on the defensive
Agustin Pichot arrives in Sydney ahead of the World Cup
Pichot meets young fans in Sydney
Argentina captain Agustin Pichot has rounded on Australia for criticising his team's "dirty tactics" ahead of their World Cup-opening match.

Wallabies fly-half Stephen Larkham has claimed Argentina will do "whatever it takes" to win the game on 10 October.

But Pichot said: "I don't think we're dirty, we just play as physically as we can because that's our strength.

"Great players should stick to playing without talking."

After beating the Pumas 17-6 in Buenos Aires 11 months ago, Australia complained of being eye-gouged, punched, kicked and spat upon.

At the time Pichot called the Wallabies cheats who played negative rugby.

The scrum-half took over the captaincy after centre Lisandro Arbizu was forced out with a knee injury.

Pichot said: "Lisandro was very important for us in the structural defence of the midfield.

"It's tough to replace him but we're trying new things in the midfield and working out who is going to do it.

"We have been very strong in the midfield so we need to get back to that."

The seventh-ranked Pumas square up against defending champions Australia and Ireland, ranked third in the latest IRB ratings.

"Trying to qualify for the quarter-finals is going to be terrible with Australia and Ireland in our group," he said.

"Australia has a great team and playing at their home ground it's going to be very hard for us."

The South Americans have won four and drawn one of 16 Tests against Australia since 1979.

Links to more Argentina stories


Pichot targets Tri-Nations
24 Sep 03  |  Argentina
Pichot back from the brink
24 Sep 03  |  Argentina

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